He finally got his first 90 minutes of the season under his belt and now Fleetwood forward Conor McAleny says he is fighting fit for the final 12 games of the term.
The 25-year-old arrived at Town in the summer on a free transfer from Everton, having scored 10 goals in 14 starts on loan at Oxford United.
He hit the ground running, netting twice on his debut in Town’s opening day win over Rotherham United but, since then, it has been a frustrating time.
Just a week later, and a day before his birthday, McAleny picked up an ankle injury in the 1-0 win at Northampton Town.
That injury has blighted his season but he returned to fitness just before the turn of the year.
Nevertheless, his first 90 minutes for the club came after the arrival of John Sheridan, who took over from Uwe Rosler last week.
McAleny had numerous chances in his 90 minutes against MK Dons last weekend and he said it was a much needed tonic as he proved to the club, the fans and himself that he can play a full game.
He said: “It is good, it gives me a boost; I’ve been crying out for a 90 minutes to be honest.
“It felt good and I was happy. I feel fit and strong and I can complete 90 minutes.”
The rest of the campaign is not just a 12-game season but also a fresh run for McAleny.
That start against MK Dons was his first since his unhappy response to being subbed after Ash Eastham’s red card in last month’s 3-2 defeat to Scunthorpe United.
While he admitted to a frustrating few months, McAleny just wants to play and is looking forward to helping Town’s quest for survival in these final 12 games of the League One campaign.
He said: “Everyone wants to play, nobody wants to be taken off and it has been a frustrating period for most people the past few months and, for the fans, understandably.
“Everyone wants to play and I don’t think you are going to find a player that is going to be happy being taken off the pitch .
“I feel fit, I feel strong and confident I am just looking forward to this back end of the season now.”
McAleny had attracted Town’s attention with his loan spell at Oxford last season.
He believes loan football is something that young players should be looking at to aid their development.
He said: “It is real football isn’t it?
“Under-23 football is good to a certain extent but it is not real football.
“I’ve always said every time, young players going on loan – get them out.”